Gerber Products will invest $36 million and create approximately 50 additional jobs as it expands its Fremont, MI baby food manufacturing facility. Gerber’s investment will support new product lines and programs, and further reinforces its commitment to Fremont.
The baby-food product company was founded in 1927 in Fremont by Daniel Frank Gerber, owner of the Fremont Canning Company, which produced canned fruit and vegetables. Today, Gerber produces nearly 190 food products labeled in 16 languages and distributed to 80 countries.
The Right Place, Inc. worked with Gerber and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) to solidify the investment in West Michigan. The Right Place also connected the company to workforce development resources at Michigan Works! West Central to assist with workforce recruitment and training, as well as Consumers Energy, which helped to reduce costs and promote clean energy business practices.
“Gerber’s Fremont facility has been a critical component of our regional economy for decades,” said Birgit Klohs, President and CEO, The Right Place, Inc. “Beyond providing hundreds of quality advanced manufacturing jobs with competitive wages, Gerber also supports the regional agribusiness industry and has strong relationships with local growers and suppliers. This investment will strengthen Gerber’s presence in the region and position the agribusiness industry for continued growth.”
“Gerber is an important employer in West Michigan, and the company’s decision to expand in Fremont means good jobs for area residents and underscores the strength of the state’s manufacturing talent,” said MEDC CEO Mark A. Burton. “We’re pleased to work with our local partners and support this investment, and we look forward to working with this longstanding Michigan company as it continues to grow and add jobs for Michiganders.”
“Consumers Energy is excited to help Gerber Products make investments to create jobs here in West Michigan,” said Lauren Youngdahl Snyder, Consumers Energy’s vice president of customer experience. “We have made a Triple Bottom Line commitment to people, the planet and Michigan’s prosperity, which our collaboration with Gerber Products illustrates perfectly in Fremont. When Michigan wins, we all win.”
The Michigan Strategic Fund authorized a 10-year Renaissance Zone in support of the project and both Newaygo County and the City of Fremont have passed resolutions of support for the Renaissance Zone.
“We are pleased Gerber has chosen to continue investing in Newaygo County,” said Christopher Wren, Newaygo County Administrator. “They provide quality jobs for local residents and we look forward to seeing their continued growth in our community.”
“As stated in our original Agricultural Processing Renaissance Zone (APRZ) agreement in 2008, the City of Fremont is fortunate to acknowledge Gerber Products beginnings here in Fremont and their continued commitment to our community,” said Mayor Rynberg, City of Fremont. “Our City Council unanimously endorses the application for this new Michigan Strategic Fund Renaissance Zone (MSFRZ) and enthusiastically supports these continuing policies promoting sustainability and partnership.”
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